Mission Accomplished

Hey there!  I’m back to Looking for Lovely on this fine first day of June!  Wait, what?  It’s JULY?!  Ok, yeah it’s been a while… But I have lots to share!  Last month was filled with camps, kids, and Jesus; it was amazing!

See that photo up there ^^ with all of those cool ballers?  That was one of the camps that I coached at called Basketball Maui.  It was pretty rad.  I also coached volleyball at a sports camp at my home church which was pretty great too.  Both of those camps were back to back in the first weeks of June so that’s why I was a bit off my regular schedule. Now, I’m just overflowing with excitement and anticipation for this new season coming up in my life (which I will write about in an upcoming blog), but for now let’s talk about what God taught me through all of the craziness of summer camp!  Summer has only just begun…

A little background on my life and personality with summer camps is that they have literally changed my life.  The kids that I meet and coach and love every single year are the ones who have made me who I am today.  Being a leader is a privilege that I will never take for granted.  God has given me so many opportunities to share the gospel, build my confidence, and pursue purpose in the many years that I’ve led in camps.  {This year was my 7th year coaching at sports camp!!!}

With that being said, camp holds a special place in my heart.  The singing, dancing, and training sets my soul on fire.  It’s my favorite part of the year!  At Basketball Maui we spent a week training the kids on how to play basketball, watching Kenny Dobbs make amazing dunks, and sharing a little bit of Jesus with the kids.  It was intense and we all put in so many hours of our days into it.  We all lived and breathed basketball and I loved it.  I got to work with really great people who came from the States (and Canada!) to do camp.

Solid people and fun kids make for a great time, but it was so exhausting.  That weekend after basketball and before sports camp, I was reminded again why I do what I do. Here’s what I learned about handling exhaustion and discouragement in the midst of full-time ministry:

  1. Always be a team player.  This is something that we taught the kids constantly during camp.  Be a team player.  Encourage others and make sure you aren’t playing for yourself, but giving God the glory.  This is a key part in ministry because God doesn’t want you to work alone.  We are the body of Christ for a reason… A family to pick each other up and build each other up when the going gets tough.
    “Two are better than one,
        because they have a good return for their labor:
    If either of them falls down,
        one can help the other up.
    But pity anyone who falls
        and has no one to help them up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
  2. Focus on the good things happening in your ministry.  This is a big one, especially when working with kids.  Sometimes I get caught up in the moment of my kids not listening to me during small group or them complaining about how hot it is or how hungry they are and I forget that God is moving through every word I say and thing I do.  It’s hard to know that you might not ever here from them again after camp, whether or not they know Jesus or want to know more.

    Then there’s the flip side of things that get lost in all of the chaos.  The moment when that kid who is always getting into trouble comes home excitedly telling his parents how much fun he had that day.  Or when the shy kid goes home and tells his parents the bible story that he learned when you weren’t even sure if he was listening or not.  Those… Those are the moments that we need to focus on. God has placed you and me in the right time and place to share the love of God with others. We can’t count on the fact that God will reveal what He’s doing in others lives all the time, but we can know that He is working and has a purpose in everything, even when we don’t see it.  Hold on to the stories and remember them when you are overwhelmed.

    “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58

  3. Draw your security and strength from the Lord.  This was so important when I got kicked in the behind with exhaustion and allergies.  A combo that is not fun.  But you know what?  It’s a price that I’ll pay to have fun and play sports and love on kids!  I couldn’t have done it without strength and motivation from God.  I’m thankful that every time I do get sick, it happens after camp is over.  So praise God that I didn’t have to be miserable during camp!  When He gives you a mission, He will help you accomplish it!  Can I get an amen?

    “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
        where does my help come from?
    My help comes from the Lord,
        the Maker of heaven and earth.
    He will not let your foot slip—

        he who watches over you will not slumber;” – Psalm 121:1-3

So that was my June in a nutshell, not including the jr. high lock in that I went to in between those two camps!  What is wrong with me you ask?  I’m high on Jesus and the ministry that He’s given me! 😉 Woo!  Happy July!

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Lovely Words III

I love writing about the little things that make my day special and the things that God shows me in seemingly random times… Here’s a look at some of my lovely moments from my personal page.

“Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:22‭-‬26

•SELF CONTROL• (April 26th, 2017)13699554_1732549587011493_839432458_o

I know that it is personally challenging for me to wait on the Lord. Some times will be easier than others, but for the most part, I never “quietly wait” on Him. When I think of quietly waiting, I think of self control and lots of it. Self control to keep my mouth shut from complaining and self control to keep me from overworking myself. I don’t like to be still. When I’m waiting for something, I like to keep my mind and body busy doing other things.
That’s not waiting quietly. That’s me trying to feel like I’m in control when I know I’m not. That’s me trying to earn my blessing from God instead of just accepting it when the right time comes. God is faithful and will give hope to those who seek Him, therefore, I can rest in His will for me and trust that He will reveal to me His ways in His perfect timing. I can give all control to Him because it is GOOD to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 🌺

(May 6th, 2017)

“Great is the LORD in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. 3 Let them praise your great and awesome name— he is holy.” – Psalm 99:2-3 🌻20170416_130704

A friend of mine compared these sunflowers to a huge group of people singing joyous songs with their faces turned toward the Son Jesus. To me, it was a beautiful picture of what we’re meant to be. What we were created for. I’m so passionate about worship because God created us to give Him praise. Creation shouts praises of worship to its Creator and sunflowers face the sun(Son). I want to be one of God’s creations that can’t help but feel joy when thinking of my God. One that can’t help but sing songs of praise to my King.

One of the great things about living on Maui is that I can’t help but see God in all of the nature around me. He paints beautiful pictures like this to help us remember what He has made us to be. For I was born with a purpose, just give You praise. 🙌🌻

(May 17th, 2017)

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:920170517_130011
This verse really gets to me because it’s the absolute opposite of what the world teaches. Every day people are tossed aside because of their weaknesses and their mistakes. The world tells us that we need to be perfect and that our weaknesses make us unworthy of love, but God says something different… He says that your weaknesses make you beautiful because it is through those weaknesses that HIS power can shine in your life. Can you imagine if we were all perfect? We wouldn’t get to experience all the things that God can do through us. [Among other things!]… Our weaknesses make us stronger through Him. Not by our works because we can’t do it on our own, but by His grace can we live to the fullness of God’s riches. By GRACE we have been saved through faith. It is our weaknesses that reveal God’s true power. With them we are worthy of His love, grace, and salvation. 🌻

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I Seek You First.

“I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.” – Psalm 119:10

Last week I was sitting on my paddle board in the middle of the ocean with one of my best friends.  We were talking about life and how we see God moving.  My friend was telling me how she thought she was in a still season of not really knowing what God wants her to do.  A season of having to try really hard to hear God’s voice in the silence.

I have been in a season of connecting the dots and seeing the fruition of the past year of suffering and waiting.  Everything is slowly coming together and I can see what God is working on.  Both these seasons in life, through the stillness and the growth, are beautiful and completely from God.  But no matter where you are in life, doubts and fears of the unknown always manage to make their way in.

 

Both of these seasons, different as they may be, are times of a lot of learning and growth. When God chooses to teach you things in very blatant ways, it’s easy to see the wheels turning in all situations in your life.  For me, this is a time of taking every opportunity placed in front of me to try new things and see where God leads, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t gone through seasons of stillness as well.  When God chooses to speak to you in a gentle whisper, the learning process will be very different.

In those times, I find myself learning how to be still and listen rather than get up and go go go!  Being still is definitely a hard thing for me to learn and I doubt a lot of my decision making skills during that time.  How do I know if I’m still on the path that God wants me to be on?  How can I know what God wants me to do if I don’t hear a blatant yes or no?  The answers to those questions can be answered with this one… Am I truly seeking God with all my heart?

Matthew 7:7-8 says,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

God wants us to seek Him and through it He will reveal His way for you.  I overthink decisions a lot, but I really do believe that if I am seeking the Lord with all my heart and staying in tune with God through prayer, my decisions will be honoring to Him.  God gave us free will so that we wouldn’t be mindless robots all doing the same thing.  This free will is a gift and is not to be abused.  It is something that we should use to continually seek after God, because if we are truly seeking God, His desires will become ours.

One of my childhood pastors described our Christian life and the decisions we make as a circle.  // Should we call it the “God bubble”? haha // Since we are seeking God and hopefully praying about everything during the process, God will sometimes give us many different open doors to choose from.  That’s when we’re in God’s bubble… It’s not that one door will be better than the other, it’s the fact that they are different and God is letting you choose which way you want to go.  Since God shows us His desires for us through constant prayer and seeking, we can be free to choose whichever door we want and it will be pleasing to Him.  If we stay in the circle of life that God has given us and don’t stray into the ways of death (temptations, rebellion, etc.) then we can be confident that we are where God wants us to be and have the freedom to make decisions for ourselves.

That being said, free will is a big responsibility and the only way we can live this life well is to always keep ourselves and others accountable for our actions.  God wants to give us the desires of our hearts, and when we truly seek after Him, we will find that our desires are in tune with His or that He has changed our desires to match His.  Whether God speaks to you loudly and blatantly or in a gentle whisper, He will never leave you in the dark or in confusion.  That is not who He is… He is a God of peace, of light, and of wisdom.

So continue seeking God with all of your heart!  Let the Holy Spirit speak to you in His own mysterious ways and always be open to what God is trying to teach you!  When it comes to learning, sooner is always going to be better than later.  Trust me!

Before I bring my need
I will bring my heart
Before I lift my cares
I will lift my arms
I wanna know You
I wanna find You
In every season
In every moment
Before I bring my need
I will bring my heart
And seek You first

{First by Lauren Daigle}

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All Because of Your Love

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1 John 4:9-10

•Love•

Love is something that I think, every person is looking for.  Love can be found in our Heavenly Father.  The One who is love itself.

God’s love is the only kind that can fill us to overflow.   We often look to man to fulfill that loss of love in our lives, but earthly love is only temporary.  God’s love will last for all eternity.  It is the kind of love that gives you a purpose and knowledge beyond our understanding.  Here is some truth about the love God has for you:

  • God’s love is steadfast and unchanging
  • God’s love comforts us
  • God’s love is revealed to us through Jesus Christ
  • God’s love is  poured into us through the Holy Spirit
  • God’s love compels us to love one another

Steadfast and unchanging:  This is something that I won’t ever be able to understand fully, but God shows it to me every day.  It’s hard to believe that God’s love is steadfast when people leave my life all of the time.  It’s hard to believe that He never changes when people change so quickly and drastically.

Do you see what I am doing here?  I am comparing my perfect God to the imperfect people around me.   It’s easy to do really.  I think the main reason it’s hard to believe the characteristics of God is because we don’t usually see it in other’s lives.  How will we know what to base God’s characteristics off of?  That’s when we as Christians need to close our eyes to the world and open our eyes to faith.  When we do that, God can reveal His love to us in a way that we have never seen before.

Comforting:  Do you feel comforted when your mom or dad hugs you tight after you’ve cried your eyes out?  That’s what God’s love feels like.  It calms me and gives me peace. Something like I’ve never felt before.  It’s a supernatural love that you find from any superficial thing.

Revealed through Jesus:  This is the most amazing part of all… The fact that God loved us so much that He sent His only son to die for our sins.  John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

That’s what Jesus did.  He died so we may live.  An atoning sacrifice.  Not only did He die for the world, He died for YOU.  If you were the only person left on this planet, He would have still died, for you his friend.  Because of His love.

Poured into us through the Holy Spirit:  I seriously think that the Holy Spirit is the coolest thing ever.  After Jesus ascended back into heaven, He didn’t just leave us to fend for ourselves, He gave us the Holy Spirit.  The Helper came to guide us and convict us to live a life pleasing to the Lord.  Your parents won’t likely send you off on your own before teaching you the necessary life skills you’d need.  That’s what the Holy Spirit does for us in love.

Compels us to love one another:  Colossians 2:2-3 says,

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”


Christ loved us and we must walk in His footsteps to be more like Him.  We love so that others may know the love of God for themselves.  Love separates us from the world and brings light to the darkness.  So go into the world and show God’s love to the people who need it the most!

Because of Your cross my debt is paid
Because of Your blood my sins are washed away
Now all of my life, I freely give
Because of Your love
Because of Your love I live

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Let God move the Mountains, all You Need to be is Still.

I believe that You are God alone
But sometimes I still try to take control
Cause I get scared when I can’t see the end
And all You want from me is to let go

Music gives me words to process how I’m feeling.  I can relate to song lyrics more than anything else.  I love so many songs on Klove radio, but this one, Still by Hillary Scott, really gave me a new perspective.

•CONTROL•

Control seems to be the word of the month for me.  It has come up in my conversations with friends so many times and is definitely something that I need to learn to let go of and give to God.  He’s been showing me more areas of my life that I have been trying to take into my own hands and it’s something I struggle with daily.  To give all control to God would mean that I control nothing and that’s a scary thought.  But really, what would my life look like if I had all of the control?  A BIG STINKING MESS!  That’s what.

So why am I and so many other Christians scared of giving all control over to God?  The first thing that comes to my mind is not being able to know what the future holds.  Not being able to see the end.  When I feel like I am in control of my life, I can plan for as long in advance as I want.  Even though I know that it’s not going to happen like that, it feels good to have a plan.  It makes me feel secure.  The thing is, my plan may not be the same as God’s plan, and I think that’s what we’re afraid of.

Personally, I would love to know what my life will be like in 2 years or in 5.  I would like to have a plan that I can follow so that I can make all the right decisions, making the best life possible for me, but that isn’t reality and that isn’t how the world works.  The only one who has a perfect plan for your life is God.  It’s like the parable of the man who built his foundation on the rock and one on the sand…

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27

If we try and take control, our future will fall, but if we let God take control, He will build it on a firm foundation.  Even though we don’t have a clear picture as to what God wants for our lives all the time, we still need to remember that He is working in every moment and through every mistake or good choice we make.  The chorus to Still goes like this:

You’re parting waters
Making a way for me
You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see
You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak
All You need for me to be is still

I usually get discouraged when I don’t believe [or remember] that God is working through my waiting.  A couple weeks ago, I was feeling a lot of emotions and had an urge to act upon them.  I felt like I needed to do something that minute or else everything would come falling down.  I ended up not acting upon my emotions because the right opportunity never came up.  Then I was hit with fear and confusion.

I didn’t know if what I had planned to do was a good idea anymore and I was so afraid of making the wrong choice, but I still felt the urge to act.  I continued to put it off because I could never find the right moment.  [God didn’t let the right moment happen and He is working through it all for a reason.]  All this time feeling like I should wait for God to make the first move.  I kept telling myself to wait for God to show me what to do, but I was really trying to do things my own way.  I was stressing out, over thinking, and letting my plans go ahead of God’s.  I wasn’t still.  Still to see what God was trying to show me. Still to give Him control over the situation.

I eventually came to the realization that waiting, actually quietly waiting without complaining and stressing, would be the best thing for me to do.  To let God take His course in the situation and believe what I had been praying for.  To let God’s will be done, not my own.  I still don’t know what will happen, but for now, I have found peace in knowing that God will let happen what He wants.  If it doesn’t turn out like I wanted, it just means that God has something better in store for me.  Knowing that is a huge relief, guys.  It’s not easy to believe, you have to have a lot of faith, but it is the truth.

Being still is something that I have to constantly change myself to be.  I automatically go to the fast lane and want things to get done, but that’s not always how God works.  Being still is the first step to giving God control.  I hope that you will be trying this with me as we all wait for God to move mountains in our lives.

I bring my praise before I bring my need
Cause there’s no fear You’ve not already seen
I rest my heart on all Your promises
Cause I have seen and know Your faithfulness

[This song is so stinking good!]

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Being Rooted and Established in Love. A Prayer from Paul.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:16-19

THIS.  Being rooted and established in love.  That’s my Jr. Hai (Rooted) ministry’s key verse.  These verses spark a light in my mind because of the amazing words of Paul’s prayer.  In the beginning of chapter 3, he tells the Ephesians the “mystery of Christ” (v. 4) which is that the Gentiles will also join together as members of the body of Christ.

Jesus loves all of His people and He wasn’t going to exclude anyone from His wonderful gift of eternal life.  This was just the beginning of the good news spread to the Ephesians. I want to dwell on v. 16-19 for a while.  The words that stuck out to me were strengthen, power, faith, rooted, knowledge, and fullness. 

Strengthen, power + faith:  The power of the Holy Spirit will strengthen us if we accept Jesus into our lives through faith.  God sent us the Holy Spirit so that He may make us stronger through Him.  To make us bold and give us power.  Not a power to make us a god among men (I watch too many super hero movies, I know), but one to embolden us to share the gospel with others and to love so greatly that others will see Jesus through us.  The Holy Spirit’s power in us is what gives us a purpose and a drive to live for God.  This power is in YOU from the day you first believed.  How amazing is that?!

Rooted:  I love the word ROOTED.  The dictionary defines it as 1) cause (a plant or cutting) to grow roots. 2) establish deeply and firmly.  In John 15:5, we are described as the branches and Jesus as the vine.  Again, here in v. 17, it creates a simple picture for us to understand how our walk with Jesus should look like.  We should be grounded and growing deep roots so that we may be close to the Lord’s family.  Entwined together and established in love.

Knowledge:  Here’s the mind blowing part… If we do all of these things, we can have knowledge which surpasses all understanding.  A knowledge that is only given by God.  I don’t know about you, but when I think too long about a specific God thing, my mind gets torched and I can’t think anymore because God is just too EVERYTHING for me to understand.  So I think it’s pretty cool that He can share that knowledge with us.  To know how wide, how deep, how high, and how long the Father’s love is for us.  Pretty mind blowing!

Fullness:  This verse reminds me that God is the only one who can fill me.  The only one who can fill emptiness of any kind.  When you look for fulfillment from the world or people, they will always let you down because humans are flawed and our God is perfect.  Would you rather be filled by something temporary or by an eternal love?  I’ll take the latter please!

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.

{by Stuart Townend}

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Lovely Words II

•SENT• (March 30, 2017)20170322_124906(0)

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
– Isaiah 6:8

We are God’s vessels. Vessels to do His work and further His kingdom. I have seen the truth behind this in a way that I have never seen before. I’ve had the privilege to work with kids for quite awhile, and I was just now taken aback by how amazing this job truly is. The job that God has given me to be an encouragement and a light to His children. I’ve seen the passion of our leaders and the things that God has worked out in all of our lives and I can’t wait to see more!! We really can do all things through Him who gives us strength. If we die to ourselves and give our selfish desires to God, He can use us in mighty ways. He wants to speak through us. He wants to take us places beyond our comfort zone and He has given us a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Live for Christ BY Christ and WITH Christ because Christianity isn’t worth living… JESUS is. 🌺

ONLY•GODS•STRENGTH (April 3, 2017)20170322_071209.jpg

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” – Daniel 2:20‭-‬21🌺

Those are my three words to describe this weekend at Tweens camp. Only. God’s. Strength. I knew that I had been stretching myself to my limit the past couple of weeks and God had a big surprise for me on Friday. First day of camp and I’m sick! Yep, I had prayed before hand that I would be able to let go of my selfish desires and put God first in my responsibilities as a leader. Oh boy… I was not expecting sickness to be that thing that tore away my pride, selfishness, and control. Makes sense though [Isn’t God tricky? ;)] God mellowed me out and put all the focus on Him. He gave me the strength I needed. What a crazy experience! I loved all my cabin girls and got to experience camp with them on a different level. God is good all the time, even when He allows me to be sick. Because you know what? He could have allowed me to be so sick that I couldn’t go to camp, but He didn’t. He had a different plan and I’m so thankful for how it all went down. 🌺

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“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:8-9

🌻 I love to feel joy. Joy in the blessings and joy in the suffering, but one is harder than the other… Can you guess? Most people would say that I’m a happy person and I would agree, but joy… Joy is different. Joy comes from believing that God is in complete control of your life and that no matter where He leads, He goes before you bringing His wonderful plan into fruition. That is pure joy. Receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Sometimes I think, how can I be joyful about this situation? I can’t see the light! The answer is salvation… Jesus already saved me from my sin and He will continue to do so my entire life. He saved my soul and I can have glorious joy if I truly believe that.

Y’all Jesus SAVED our lives!! I need to bring “salvation” back into my everyday vocabulary. Jesus is the answer for all. We act in love because Jesus saved us! We believe that God is with us because Jesus saved us! We have JOY in Christ because He saves!! Everything we do should be because He did it for us. We can find joy in Him in our daily lives, in the good and the bad, because Jesus died for our sins and rose again. Let us sing for joy because of our SALVATION, not only this weekend as we celebrate the resurrection, but everyday of the year because Jesus continually saves us and loves us no matter what! 🌻

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Surrendering my Fears to the God who Tells me that I am Enough

“Fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
~Isaiah 41:10

•FEAR•

I wasn’t expecting to write about fear today, I actually had planned to make another lovely words post with little things from my personal instagram.  BUT God had other plans, so I feel like this is a good time to write about my fears.  God, please help me to understand what You want to teach me through this.

Fear, I feel like that word could be written across my forehead.  Fear of judgement, fear of rejection, and fear of failure.  When I read Isaiah 41:10, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to not fear man?  Wouldn’t it be nice to not have fear because I know that God will uphold me with His righteous right hand?”.   It’s not that I don’t believe that God is for me, the problem is that I let my thoughts run wild and that results in anxiety, stress, and fear of the unknown.  Fear of man.

I’m going to go a little deeper into my fears.  It’s hard to go deep into the things that I’m not proud of, but I’ve known through experience that when you face your sin, that’s when God will take you out of it.  It’s not a process that happens overnight, but once you look your sin straight on, you can begin the process to redemption.  And you know what, Jesus has already redeemed you from all of your sin, even future sins, but sometimes that redemption needs to happen in a way that leads to self forgiveness as well.

Fear of judgement:  This is something that I’ve struggled with my whole life.  I’ve struggled with the specific fear of people judging me if they see the real me and ultimately running away in disappointment because I wasn’t who they wanted me to be. This is so dangerous because this is me trying to be good enough for imperfect people when I need to be focused on my worth in Christ.

One of my church’s pastors said that we are all looking for the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.) and when we sin, we’re trying to find them in people instead of God.  We can only find those things in God who is perfect, no one else can fill that gap.  So perhaps my fear of judgement is me trying to find love from people instead of from my heavenly Father who has a perfect love like no other.

Fear of rejection:  This one is recent.  Not something that I was expecting and it could go with my fear of judgement, but I feel that rejection is a lot more specific.  I am going through a specific trial in my life that I am filled with the fear of someone rejecting me.  I am afraid that if I can’t control my emotions, I’ll be rejected and tossed aside.  This comes from thoughts like, “You are not good enough” and “You aren’t worthy”.  These are not God’s words, these are the lies of the devil.

It’s hard to kick these thoughts out of my brain and sometimes they come up so sneakily. Before I know it, they are too big for me to handle.  I cramp up and don’t know what to do.  I can’t act now because I’m so crippled by fear.  This is the place that I don’t want to be in.  This is when I have to make a choice about what to believe, God’s truth that I am enough for Him or the lies of Satan.  Last one…

Fear of failure:  I like it when I am in control (woah, yeah that’s a big problem).  When I want to do something, I want to do it now and I want it to succeed.  That is a problem because if I try to do things my way, it will most like fall apart at my feet.  You know why?  Because everything I do needs a solid foundation that is God.  It’s hard to give up control and it’s even harder for me to feel the pain of failure.  The disappointment of a job that fell through.

Rejection can also fit into this (Are you seeing the pieces coming together?).  It’s funny how all of my fears have a way of connecting together.  It all comes down to me not looking to God to fill in the blank.  I try to fill in the spaces with praise from man that will only last a second.  My flesh will always turn to temporary glory instead of trying to please God and seeking approval from Him.  Maybe you can relate to that.

Now the question is, am I willing to learn, grow, and face my fears?  I would hope that the answer to that is always YES LORD JESUS.  A dear friend of mine told me that it’s ok if it’s hard.  It’s ok if you have to give it to God every single minute of your day because the key is to surrender.  I can’t carry my fears on my shoulders because I will fall, but with God by my side, He can carry them for me.  And even better, He can erase them completely, but I have to be ready to surrender.  I have to be ready to sing,

“Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground.”
~Hillsong United

I have to be ready to fall on my knees at the feet of my Lord and Savior.  It’s not easy to do and some days will be easier than others, but that’s all God wants.  He just wants all of me.  He just wants all of you.  So my prayer will be that God will take my fears and replace them with His echoes of love, worth, and forgiveness.  Would you pray that with me as well?  Would you be willing to surrender your fears to the God who loves you and will never leave you?

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Finding Hope in Him alone

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can                               ~ Even If by MercyMe

•TRUST•

Even if you don’t, my hope is You alone.  You need a lot of faith and a lot of trust in God to believe in those words.  The world says to use God as a way to get what you want.  Our sinful nature always turns to selfishness.  Sometimes we just want God to give us what we ask for and we ask with a selfish heart.

The first story that came to my mind specifically after hearing the lyrics to this song is in the book of Daniel when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago were being thrown into the fiery furnace.  These verses popped out to me:

“If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” – Daniel 3:17-18

It all lines perfectly together.  We know how great our God is and all of the amazing things that He can do and when we turn away from our selfishness and look to God as our King and provider, we can truly see God’s plan come to fruition.  Knowing that God can do whatever He wants and not worrying but trusting that He will lead you on the right path is a leap of faith shown in such a great way through the story of the fiery furnace.

However, as nice as that all sounds, it is so hard for me to truly believe that sometimes.  I want heartache and pain to go away immediately.  In my own timing and what is convenient for me.  I know that God has the power to do that, but when He chooses to not do that for the moment it’s usually when He wants to teach me something.  The learning process is hard, y’all.  It’s exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time, but it stinks when you’re stuck in the middle of it.  My selfishness of wanting my problems to just go away blinds me from seeing how God wants to change me through all of it and the reasons why He is keeping it in the forefront of my mind.  That reason is usually that He’s trying to teach me to give over all control.

You see, faith and trust come when you give God control over EVERY part of your life.  Yes, there are so many places that I’ve seen in my life where I am a complete control freak.  I didn’t realize it until God used the hard situations to show me smack in the face. That’s when I see that God has a greater plan for me and if I trust in Him, He will show me the way to redemption.  I cling to Him alone and find that He brought me through this hardship to know that He is faithful and good and able.

So when I think about trust and asking God to bring me out of the fire, I think of timing and how perfect HIS timing is opposed to mine.   His timing is perfect and He allows us to go through trials so that we can build character and a better relationship with our Father in heaven.  So when you go through the fire and are trying to seek God through it all, remember that He is always right there with you and He’s working it all out for a greater purpose.  When we put our own selfish desires aside, we can truly find hope in Him alone.

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

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Lovely Words

If you’ve seen my Instagram, I love to share little words of encouragement, verses, and things that God has been teaching me.  I will usually start them with just one word (or three!).  Here are a few that I have written so far and want to share with you.  🌼

• STRENGTH, PEACE, PRAYER • (Feb. 16, 2017)

These are three things that God has been teaching me. Living with His strength, finding peace in Him, and learning how to talk with Him. It’s been a journey, but God has blazed the trail already and is walking every step beside me. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” ~ Psalms 32:8 ❤

•WORSHIP• (Feb. 23, 2017)IMG_20170223_184210_918

If you asked me what I was passionate about, worship would be my answer. Worship through dance and song. Hula has been a part of me since I was 6 years old and every year, my heart desires it more and more. It desires to express worship, praise, and thankfulness to my God. I am forever in awe of the ways that we can give worship to the King of the world. Beautiful ways of movement, words of love, and notes of instruments. We were made to worship our God and to give Him the glory. Hula is not just a dance, it is a gift that God has given me and a gift that I will keep on giving back to Him because I am made to worship. Even when God points me in a different direction for a season, He always gives me a new opportunity to express my worship to Him. He takes me out of my comfort zone and pushes me to use my gifts to the fullest. So as I am learning and growing, I can continually lose myself in His presence and sing to my God. 🌺🌺🌺
“And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!'” ~Revelation 5:13

• R E S T • (March 16, 2017)

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“Find rest, oh my soul, in God alone.” – Psalm 62:5
This is something that has been absent from my life for a while now. It’s something that I don’t realize is an important thing until it’s gone. /If my time is filled with serving the Lord, do I need a “break” from doing things for Him?/ Rest is something that I have been convicted about, but I don’t have the answer. The truth is, rest is taking time out of my day for just me and God. I can be doing what God has called me to do, serve others, and spend time with kids, but the ultimate result will be exhaustion. EXHAUSTION, because my body can’t putter on without a recharge. So I guess it’s not that I need to take a “break” from the things that make me happy, it’s the fact that God wants me to rest and recharge IN HIM so that I can continue to do His work on His power alone. Rest is something that our society doesn’t promote. It’s looked upon as laziness, but look at it this way… If you have a personal relationship with God, He wants to have time ALONE with you just like any of your other earthly friends do. Resting is giving God that time to RESTORE, REPLENISH, and REFOCUS your heart and mind. 🌺

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